• Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

This is your transition.

ByCaitlin Wickham

Mar 24, 2023
trans flag on building

Coming to terms with the fact your body and gender don’t align is quite a hard concept to deal with. Sure, you spent years feeling a clear detachment between the two. But to be transgender. To know your true and real gender. Now that is something different entirely. Questions begin to race around your head like, will I be accepted? How will my life change? What do I do now? These are all perfectly normal questions that any transgender person would ask themselves. I knew for a very long time that something wasn’t right. There was something that bothered me when I was described as a male.  At 20 years old I put it together. I understood that I was a transgender woman. I came out publicly a year ago and started hormone replacement therapy (HRT). A year into my public journey I have learned a lot and experienced more than ever before. Here are some of the things that I learned.

When I started to accept that I was transgender, I began to read and listen to whatever I could find. Books, podcasts, and even Reddit. I wanted to read the experiences of others and see if I resonated with what they said. Reading and listening to the experiences of trans women that have come before us is such an important asset in helping us resonate and maybe even understand ourselves better. 

Now, with this, I give a word of warning. No one’s experiences will ever match yours exactly. Your journey is yours alone. For me, some of the material I read had a negative effect. It may have been information I wasn’t ready to know or stories that resonated a little too much. Everyone’s journey is different and when you are researching it is so important to keep track of your mental health and go at your own pace.

I’m a woman. Now what? The first time I experienced a hate comment was also the same time I was catcalled. All in the same sixty seconds. It’s safe to say that was a rollercoaster of emotions. As your transition progresses, you will, unfortunately, become accustomed to the intersectionality of misogyny and transphobia. I am very fortunate that I am surrounded by the strongest women I know. They were able to help with not only advice but also understanding. 

When you come out, you want to be seen as the gender you identify with. This is part of the transition for many. There is no way to really prepare you for any comments you may receive. What I have learned over the past year is that I cannot, in fact, I will not, live my life in fear of what may. This, for me, is one of the most important lessons I have learned so far. My transition is mine alone and I will not let anyone take that from me.

Don’t worry about how you look. As you transition you will be excited and overwhelmed with everything you get to do. The clothes, makeup, and just being seen as a woman. Every girl has had a period where they wore too much tan, wore an ‘ugly’ fit, or had very dark eyebrows. You are allowed to experiment and see what works for you. You will develop a fashion sense that is unique to your personality and to who you are. That is the beauty of being trans and being a woman. This is your time to be authentically you. Experiment. Look ‘weird’ (whatever that means) for a minute.

When you make the decision that you are going to transition you do so because you need to. Your transition ensures that you get to live your life as your true self, and everybody gets to see the authentic you. You will experience ups and downs. Good days and bad days. Dysphoria may hit. Remarks may be made. But despite all of this, you get to walk this planet as the most real version of yourself. Never let anyone take that away from you. Never let anyone say you aren’t allowed to be you. With everything I have learnt, I am still shocked and surprised when I learn or experience more. 

I still take each day as it comes. Both the bad and the good days have shaped me. 

This is your life. Your journey. Your transition.

Transgender Pride Flag” by Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office is licensed under CC BY 2.0.